I encourage everyone, everywhere to look into the health impacts of using wireless devices. Here’s a video to get you start:
Update May 2018: Although HughesNet has supposedly changed and “better”, the same kind of complaints continue to pour in: Consumer Affairs Complaints about HughesNet.
Their installer says the WiFi can not be turned down or off ever, but you can unplug the equipment. Whether that stops the RF or not, we won’t know until testing is done.
Original post June 5, 2009:
I’ve been meaning to do a post on how important having dependable high-speed Internet access is for bloggers and anyone else who works online. I will eventually do a post on how various types of broadband Internet access compare and which is most suitable. This can’t wait though. Some may have noticed me complaining on Twitter about being unable to work or noted my post frequency has varied greatly lately. The reason is HughesNet is simply horrendous.
After collecting over a dozen case numbers which they never use for anything and escalating my issue to their Executive Customer Care they finally patched me through to Level 3 support again. Level 3 and Customer Care both told me that:
- We aren’t supposed to EVER open more than one tab at a time
- They never claimed their service would work for filling out forms on the Internet on sites like Yahoo Local or Google Maps
- That even if I couldn’t use the Internet there was absolutely nothing wrong – I should just “wait a few hours and try again”
At that point I knew that they were never going to admit what they were probably doing (using the ability to limit bandwidth – they hold patents on ways to do that – see graph below) and I was never going to have reliable Internet access from them. I hope if you’re reading this you have not signed a contract as there are complaints from people who paid their ridiculous early termination fees and were still being hounded by collectors for HughesNet.
I am moved to post this to hopefully prevent others from going through the pain of being stuck in contracts that are very difficult to break. I am, in fact, still paying more for an unusable HughesNet account than I am now paying for excellent fixed wireless that makes using the Internet a joy again.
In one review of HughesNet on DSL Reports MichaelRS posted this image of his speeds over several days:
Note that the speed switches dramatically between about 1.5 meg and under 33.6 kbps (older dial-up) at regular times each day. This is NOT what you would see if more and more people got active online.
Instead of writing any more about it I’ll just share the latest Tweets from suffering HughesNet users. My apologies in advance for any bad language. I can’t blame them for being so frustrated. If I weren’t graphics challenged I’d pretty them up, make them uniform in width and edit out the profanity.
Hopefully you’ll forgive me for just getting this done quickly so I can move on to getting caught up from all the work I’ve missed being able to do while trying to actually get HughesNet to fix my connection – or at least admit they were intentionally limiting my access. Any time my service was particularly bad there would be a rash of complaining Tweets. Just do a Twitter search for HughesNet any time to see them.
Note that these Tweets are all from the last few days. There are hundreds more complaining and these ARE representative of the issues involved. I preserve these here for posterity in hopes someone takes action to force HughesNet to release people who are stuck with long term contracts – contracts that HughesNet has broken because they are NOT providing the service for which they are charging.
Since these are images I provide here the links to reviews of HughesNet service:
- DSLReports HughesNet Reviews – 852 reviews (147 positive) (445 negative) as of today
- RipOff Reports Against HughesNet – 155 complaints as of today
- RateItAll HughesNet Reviews – 85 reviews, most have 1 star – many comment they deserve 0 stars!
Tweets Complaining About HughesNet:
If you’ve read this far you probably have or are considering HughesNet. I urge you to search diligently for a quality local independent fixed wireless company. They are usually owned by technical types who are not very good at marketing so ask around or try searching these links:
- WISP Directory – Find a Wireless Internet Service Provider
- DSLReports – They provide several ways to search for service, great tech support, speed tests, and forums with really sharp broadband knowledgeable techs.
Do be sure to read the reviews and search online for complaints. A wireless company is only as good as their people and the equipment they install. They tend to be either very good or very bad. You can also try searching in Local Search Directories.
If that doesn’t pan out then consider wireless cellular service. Instead of contacting the major phone companies call 3gstore.com. They are widely recommended for their quality tech support and knowledge of current and soon-to-be-announced equipment availability and limitations.